Hii, hope you fellow Cagney and Lacey fans enjoy this short one-chapter piece...it goes back to the eighties and the time of Mary Beth Lacey's courageous battle with breast cancer and going through chemo... just the usual disclaimers that none of these characters are mine; they belong to the courageous Barbara Corday, Barbara Avedon and Barney Rosenzweig, who fought the networks to bring us the story of these two wonderful women as is...enjoy!
Partners in Body Noises
I'm back at work again and it's been a relief. I'd hated staying home and basically not being much use. The nausea from my chemotherapy against this dreadful breast cancer is a bit better, but I still have bouts of the awful nausea. My husband Harvey, my kids, and my partner and dear friend, Christine have been a big support for me and for that I am truly grateful.
I'm on light duty, however until my chemo is over in a few months. My doctors tell me my prognosis appears good, but I'm still very scared. So scared. Sometimes, I have these rushes of fear that threaten to overwhelm me.
The fear, however is more controlled now. When I was first diagnosed, I was nearly frozen in the fear and for a while, I was too afraid to even tell Chris. Chris, however in her usual blunt, brash, but lovable way, gave me the ass kick that I needed and got me to confide my fears in her and to stop bottling everything inside. Christine Cagney...my longtime partner, my protector, my courage. Christine gives her blunt ass kicks, but with love. I sure needed it that time.
I sit at my desk filling out paperwork from our latest case while Chris questions someone over the phone. As I start another file, the lightheadness comes over me again, warning me of impending nausea. I sit still for a minute, praying for the nausea to stop. Sometimes it does before I vomit, other times...
Everything is getting louder and my ears feel as if they will explode. Oh...my stomach begins to roll around and I have to get up and head for the bathroom. I don't go to the one by our lockers; I'm afraid of everyone hearing me throw up. I don't like the way I sound when I do.
I take off out of the office of precinct fourteen and head down the hallway, willing myself to make it. I barely do. The contents of my stomach pours out of me in a disgusting, horrifying glop into the toilet and I shudder and close my eyes in revulsion. I can't stop vomiting for at least five minutes and by that time, I am shaking and sweating horribly.
I wish I'd never gotten this cancer! I hate this. I just hate it. I hate being so sick. Keeping my eyes closed, I lean against the toilet, flushing it in an attempt to get rid of the horrid smell that's making me feel sicker. Cancer. Me. Mary Beth Lacey. Just my luck, I muse with a touch of bitterness. I grunt at the irony that no one in my family has ever had breast cancer. Mom tells me a great aunt of mine had liver cancer and my grandfather had stomach cancer, but no one with breast or even any other female cancer. Weird.
I can picture my mom now and have this strange urge to have her here now. Oh, Mom. Just stop it, Mary Beth, I tell myself. This is no time for whining. My mind flashes back to all the times as a kid when I'd been sick and Mom had comforted me and made chicken noodle soup. Throwing up wasn't so bad back then because I could stay home from school and I usually felt better after puking. Not these times. I often still feel sick after vomiting.
Thinking of this reminds me of my older brother and sister. I rarely see them. They've complained that Mom favored me, but that's not true; Mom treated us the same. My sister, who lives in Connecticut, sees me sometimes and we're cordial and get along all right, but it's nothing spectacular.
It's more than I can say for my brother, who doesn't get along with my sister and is barely civil to either Mom or me. He always used to say I was a big crybaby...and I guess I was. It wasn't my fault I cried often as a kid; I don't know why I was that way.
I shudder again as my stomach begins heaving and this time a huge blob of puke explodes from me and I hurl it into the toilet with a noisy, really awful HUUURRRRRK sound. The sound disgusts me and I flush the toilet again, still shivering, repulsed by the awful noises coming out of me.
As the flush dies down I hear footsteps and groan. Oh, shit, somebody heard me. I'm afraid they're repulsed also.
"Hey...are you all right?" A soft, deep, somewhat gravely voice drifts over to me. Chris.
She knocks softly on the booth door and I shakily stand, making a sort of grunting sound. I wipe my mouth off and open the door. I try nodding, but don't know if I succeed. Beneath her blond bangs, Chris' thick brows slant in empathy as she touches my shoulder softly. Her eyes are full of sorrow and I'm touched that she feels bad for me.
"I'm trying to be..." I manage to whisper as I shakily and slowly walk to the sink and try to rinse my mouth, which is a bit sore and metallic-tasting. "Oh, Chris..." I slump a bit over the sink.
Chris, as usual, knows just what to do. She's like that; it's as if her logical mind can see the next step with others. She hugs me gently and strokes my dark hair and my back.
"It's going to be over soon, Mary Beth. You're almost there. You're a strong woman; you'll make it." She doesn't say too much; she doesn't put on any false cheery front either; nor is she negative. She's just there when you need her and knows when to say something and how much. She's like the older sister I wish I had.
After a few minutes, she asks me gently, "Do you want to go home or stay here? I can take over whatever you still have to do; it's no problem." Her brows slant again as she touches my arm gently. She has one of those extremely animated, vivid faces.
"I'll stay..." I still feel nauseous, but not as bad as before. My stomach has calmed down considerably. "I hope I didn't gross you by the way I sounded in there," I tell Chris as we walk out of the bathroom and back toward precinct fourteen.
"You didn't," Chris gives me a reassuring smile. "I'm sure you heard the interesting sounds I probably made back in my drinking days and I got sick. I remember once hearing myself make a sort of iiiiiirrrik noise in one of my barfing fits and being aware of you being there worrying about me."
We both laugh. I actually do. Chris had battled alcoholism last year and she often drank until she'd gotten sick and often threw up. Yes, I'd heard interesting noises from her body also. By the time we get back to work, we're still laughing and exchanging ideas about body noises as we re-start our work. Several people turn to look at us, but neither one of us cares. Chris knows how to pick me up when I'm down.
Storyline Copyright 2007 by CNJ